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A Ballot Shuffle Unions Love

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Labor issues are on Gov. Jerry Brown's mind. 

    He's spending the day in Las Vegas at the Laborers' International Union of North America convention.  And Jerry Brown is very much on the minds of labor.

    They're hoping he'll sign SB 202, which would move initiatives to the November ballot next year, when higher voter turnout will presumably favor the unions.

    Specifically, labor is distressed with a pending measure that would restrict the ability of unions to collect membership dues to be used for political campaigns. 

    Business groups pursued a similar measure under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's sponsorship in 2005.  It was defeated in a stinging setback for Schwarzenegger and his allies.

    SB 202 would also delay a union-opposed measure that calls for increasing the state's rainy day fund.  Right now it's scheduled for June, but would move to November 2014 under the current proposal.

    Democratic lawmakers crafted the ballot change bill late Friday in the waning hours of the legislative session.  Although it's described as a way of letting the most voters have their say, the political goal is clear.  

    Democratic turnout in November of 2012 will be much higher, when President Obama's reelection is at stake, than in June.

    What's unclear is what Brown will do.  He has vetoed labor-backed measures, most recently a controversial measure that would've made it easier for farmworkers to unionize

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